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AIADMK leadership row: SC to hear on July 6 Palaniswami's plea against HC order restraining General Council from amending party's bye-laws

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list on July 6 a petition filed by AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami challenging the Madras High Court order restraining the AIADMK General Council from amending the party bye-laws during its meeting.

A vacation bench of headed by Justice Indira Banerjee posts the matter for hearing on July 6, subject to Chief Justice of India's approval for listing the plea.

Senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan for Palaniswami (EPS) mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before the apex court saying that the contempt petition alleging violation of the interim order filed by O Panneerselvam (OPS) group is coming up before the Madras High Court today.

Vaidyanathan told the bench that the division bench held an extraordinary sitting at midnight at the residence of one of the judges and passed an order an order at 4 am to restrain the General Council from passing any resolutions.

"This amounted to judicial interference with the internal functioning of a political party," he added.
A single judge of the High Court had earlier refused to restrain the General Council from passing resolutions aimed at amending its by-laws to pave the way for a unitary leadership instead of the dual leadership.

It had rejected a batch of applications for an order against passing of any such resolutions and held that it was for the General Council to decide upon its functioning and not for the court to dictate which resolution could be passed and which should not be passed.

Panneerselvam camp, however, challenged the single judge order before a division bench which had restrained the General Council from passing any resolution other than the 23 draft that had been approved by the party coordinator Panneerselvam.

Then EPS filed an appeal before the top court against division bench order stating that in the General Council meeting held on June 23, majority of members sought for abolition of the dual leadership model and for adopting a unitary leadership structure.

Since the passing away of former Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary J Jayalalithaa, the party has been having a dual leadership with Panneerselvam and Palaniswami leading it as coordinator and joint coordinator respectively.

However, recently, disputes arose between both the leaders, with EPS group pressing for unitary leadership
In the Supreme Court, Palaniswami contended that the High Court division bench had erroneously interfered with the internal democratic process of the AIADMK, and the General Council, the supreme body of the AIADMK, was prevented from deciding on internal party affairs.

The appeal sought an interim stay on the High Court order. (ANI)

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